“I tell you one thing — if you want peace, do not find fault with others. Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own.” – Sri Sarada Devi
Sri Sarada Devi, the wife of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa of Dakshineshwar, Calcutta, is equally revered by Hindus as her mystic husband, and is considered one of the most important saint mothers of all times.
The Pious Partner:
When she came to Dakshineswar at the age of 16, Sri Ramakrishna asked her whether she had come to pull him down to a worldly life. Without hesitation she said, “No, I am here to help you realize your Chosen Ideal.” From then on, Holy Mother lived with Sri Ramakrishna as his spiritual companion, devoted wife, disciple, and always the nun. She was the embodiment of purity. Her mind was never sullied by the faintest breath of worldliness, though she lived with him for the greater part of 14 years.
Uplifter of the Soul:
She never missed communion with God, whom she described as lying in the palm of her hand, though she was engaged day and night in various activities. She was an unusual awakener of souls. With her disciples she served as teacher, dissolving their doubts, as mother, who through love and compassion won their hearts, and as the Divinity, who assured them of liberation.
Herself nearly illiterate, through simple words she taught them the most profound truths. Her affectionate maternal love tamed their rebellious spirits; but her great power lay in her solicitude for all. Often she said, “I am the Mother, who will look after them if not I?” She encouraged them when they were depressed because of slow spiritual progress, and she took upon herself their sins and iniquities, suffering on that account.
A Simple Householder:
Holy Mother was conscious of her divine nature, but she rarely expressed this awareness. For many years Sri Ramakrishna practiced great austerities and formally renounced the world, but Holy Mother lived as a simple householder, surrounded by quarrelsome and greedy relatives. As a teacher she taught the realization of God alone is real, and everything else, impermanent.
The Divine Touch:
The human body, so treasured by most people, survives cremations as only three pounds of ashes. Holy Mother — humility itself — claimed that she was in no way different from other devotees of the Master. Her disciples felt awed and uplifted when she blessed them by touching their head with the same hand which had touched the feet of God. She was fully aware of her disciples’ present limitations and their future possibilities. No one went away from her with a downcast heart.
The Virtues of Womanhood:
The outstanding virtues of Indian womanhood are courage, serenity, self-control, sweetness, compassion, wisdom, and an intuitive relationship with God. Holy Mother possessed all these virtues. Since the acquisition of such gifts is the dream of all women, Holy Mother may aptly be seen as the symbol of aspiration of women everywhere.
From the writings of Swami Nikhilananda at the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York
Book to Hang Out With: Sri Sarada Devi, The Holy Mother: Her Teachings and Conversations
The first American edition of the conversations and teachings of the Holy Mother as recorded by her disciples, both lay and monastic, this fascinating collection brings to life the Holy Mother’s teachings on human affliction, self-control, and peace in ways both personal and profound. It illuminates her role as the power, scripture, joy, and guiding spirit of the Ramakrishna Order and clearly captures her unyielding devotion to God that earned her a reputation as a steady glowing fire of God-consciousness.
Translated from the original Bengali by Swami Nikhilananda, a direct disciple of the Holy Mother, these inspiring and detailed conversations offer new insight into the daily life of this endearing and beloved spiritual personality and her message of compassion that continues to influence her devotees in India and throughout the world.